NY Renaissance Faire

September 2011

Tuxedo Park, NY

Here are some shots of my visit to the New York State Renaissance Faire. The Faire runs from August through the middle of September in Tuxedo Park, NY.

This year, there were photographers all over the place. I had in mind the goal of getting shots that they might miss. I skipped the typical "doc" shots and sought to focus on people. Also to get a good jousting shot, which has eluded me in the past. You be the judge if I succeeded. There were fairies there this year. I fear that I haven't done them justice. The selection is smaller due to the absence of the doc shots that look like last year's and the year before and....

Click on the thumbnail to see the larger image. The images on this page are low resolution. High resolution shots are available to those pictured. E-mail me. All are copyrighted according to the Creative Commons license described on my main photo page.

This was actually my last shot of the day. But it makes a good set-up shot, I think. As I was leaving, I saw this chap tying to become the next king of England. Alas, it was not to be. Sadly for me, I didn't have time enough to grab the shot while he was really going at it. This is when he was about to give up hope.
Face painting. The 2011 photo contest has these categories: Action / Drama, Comedy, Romance, Artisan, Children, General Festivities. Comedy is hard to depict in a photo. I'm thinking of submitting this one in the artisan category. What do you think? Worth the effort?
This is the closest I came to a comedy shot. This was one of the Vixens En Garde cast members. They had a rowdy PG-13 performance.
Here's one of the musicians performing near the Robin Hood Bridge. I got this shot before she realized I was aiming the camera at her. After that, the shots all showed a degree of self-consciousness.
Here's the youngest member of the same troupe as in the previous image. I had the impression this was mother and daughter. But I could be wrong.
Here's one of the fairies. For me, this was one of the funnest subjects, but really hard to do justice. I applied an artistic filter to make her look more ephemeral. I think it needs more work.
Here's the Earth Fairie. They don't talk, so I tested even the patience of a fairie trying to figure out which one she was. My first guess was the Autumn Fairie.
This shot is from the afternoon games. It's difficult to get good shots as there are tourists standing all around. If they're not blocking my shot, then they're getting in it. It's easy for a stray spider man t-shirt or Yankees logo to ruin the period motiff.
The combat scenes are generally not compelling. Although great effort goes into orchestrating the fights, they look like they're acted out. In this encounter, the blonde guy on the left was this Nordic god-like figure full of muscles. He was taking it seriously. No doubt about it. The two here look like they're truly fighting. My money was on the Nordic guy, but it wasn't in the script.
Same combatants, different view.
Here's the sheriff confronting Robin Hood on the Robin Hood Bridge. If you've been to the Faire, this is a central and picturesque location for the day's plot and for photography. There are crowds milling everywhere and it's tough to get a good shot. This year, I didn't fight the crowd. I decided that a different kind of shot would result if they were in it. Still, I had to tone down a bright red shirt and baseball cap in the foreground.
This is one of my favorite shots. It was in the Fantasy Forest, where the fairies were. They had an area set out to teach swordplay to young ones. Dappled sunlight and the need to show in-focus faces and swords made this a difficult challenge. I won't say how many shots I threw away. Sorry grandma and grandpa holding your modern digital cameras whom I edited out of the shot.
One of the features for the kids is the opportunity to be knighted. They line up on the jousting field and the Queen knights them. It's a family attraction. I decided to get in close and see if there was any magic to be captured. This is one of the Lords chatting with a young knight who was waiting in line. I hope the I was able to convey the authenticity and charm that he demonstrated in putting every one of the kids at ease.
Another example of the cast putting out the extra effort to make it a special day for the kids. This is Robin Hood after a joust. This performer worked his way up through Robin's Merry Men in past years to a more central role of Will Scarlet a couple of years ago, and now the Man himself.

Here is Queen Elizabeth knighting one of her loyal subjects.

Back to the fairies. I think I'll submit this one for the contest. The two fairies and guest were simply enjoying each other's company in the Fantasy Forest. What a fun experience for the girl.
This was from the last joust of the day. In past years, the weather has not cooperated. It happens at the end of the day close to the September sunset. The light would be very good if it's still there and not filtered by overcast. I was lucky this year that the light was almost as good as you can get at this time. I'm amazed I got the shot because there were people standing in front of me. I didn't toss them to the ground to get it, and I managed not to have the blur of somebody's head in the foreground.

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